COVID Campers Regret Their RV Purchase

The entire world came to a screeching halt in the first quarter of 2020. With schools closed and vacations canceled, few knew what to do. Just about every major event got canceled as travel restrictions came down.

Some used that time to pick up a new hobby, but many chose to buy a camper. The strange circumstances of 2020 drove a boom in the RV industry. Let’s see how!

Why People Are Buying Campers During the COVID Era

COVID helped spur a boom in the RV industry. Families and individuals discovered the possibilities of working and learning remotely. With this newfound freedom, many sought new adventures.

You can’t get more socially distanced than spending time in the wilderness. RVs provided the perfect solution for getting away while staying comfortable. Campers flew off the lot faster than manufacturers could produce them.

Mistakes New COVID Campers Can Make

We all make mistakes when we’re new to something. Let’s look at a few common mistakes new COVID campers can make.

Thinking RV Camping Is Cheaper Than Hotels

RVing isn’t cheap, especially if you’re just getting into it. Not only are campers costly, but you may need a towing truck as well. Depending on the size of your RV and truck, these monthly payments can add up.

Campground costs also pile up. While New Mexico state parks are incredibly cheap, Arizona and Utah state parks can be massively expensive. A weekend camping trip in Arizona or Utah can easily run you $100 or more.

And don’t forget storage. If you don’t have a convenient place to store your RV on your property, you’ll need to rent a spot when you’re not using it. Prices for an uncovered spot can easily hit $150+ per month but vary geographically and by storage type. 

Climate-controlled storage can run much higher, hitting $600 or more. Be sure you have a storage plan for your RV!

Being able to optimize your enjoyment and experience in your RV will require tools and gadgets. Buying these from an RV dealer typically means paying two or three times more than if you purchased online. Get familiar with all of the tools and gadgets you’ll need, including propane, surge protectors, sewer hoses, and items to assist with leveling your RV.

Buying Brand New Campers

RVs are terrible investments. Why? Because they depreciate faster than cars, which notoriously depreciate quickly. 

Every year RV manufacturers crank out new RVs. But buying a new RV is a big commitment. You won’t truly know what you and your family need to be comfortable while camping until you’ve been at it a while.

Buying used helps new RVers get the best value. Let the original buyer take the depreciation hit. Just be aware that the vehicle will continue to depreciate. 

We recommend starting with a good used RV if you’re new to this lifestyle. Of course, there’s one other option for testing the waters.

Not Renting First

Some RV rentals allow you to experience a taste of RVing, but without the massive upfront costs, maintenance, or storage fees. Renting an RV lets you test out the lifestyle before spending your entire savings to jump into RVing.

You don’t need to book a long vacation to get a sense for RVing. Various websites allow you to rent an RV short-term near a national park or other attraction. Take advantage of the opportunity to sleep and live in an RV before committing to a large purchase.

COVID Closures Still in Effect

It’s easy to think that campgrounds and national and state parks are immune because they’re outdoors. While many are open, not all are. They may be functioning at limited capacity. 

Not only has COVID blocked tourism, but it’s also sent away the workforce at many of these places. The varying restrictions between states, cities, and counties make planning any trip difficult and frustrating.

Not Downsizing Enough

RVs offer limited storage. COVID campers often overestimate how much stuff they can keep in their RVs. When you pack too much stuff into an RV, it becomes suffocating. 

One thing experienced RVers tend to discover is the freedom from stuff. Embracing RVing sometimes means embracing minimalism.

Don’t Take Our Word for It…

There are many reasons why RVers throw in the towel. Liz and Paul share some they’ve heard over the years. Meanwhile, Mary Stirewalt shares her personal least favorite things about RVing.

Moving into an RV requires adjustments and sacrifices in many areas of your life. Deciding to RV requires research and self-examination. A hasty decision can turn into an expensive mistake that you’ll later regret.

Uncertain times can result in knee-jerk reactions and decisions. COVID has caused many to rush to decisions they would never have imagined making before, including buying RVs. Did you know anyone who purchased an RV as a result of COVID?

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